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Message Posted: Tue, 01 Jun 2004 @ 17:10:20 GMT
Re: the original post from Mr. Winter....
Excellent post!!! My thoughts (pretty much) exactly...
My only difference is that the GPL is not a limiter in that they have to give the "community", you're really just forced to open your code to your customers. Since NCR can still charge what they like for "MP-RAS Linux", they can, effectively, remove it from "public" distribution, at least for a time. Now, given, someone at a company that has the code will, at some point, release it, as is their right, but many companies have managed to mve a lot of their "proprietary" pieces into other parts of the system. IBM managed to keep it's mainframe interface cards proprietary while making the drivers open sourced, very nice work (used with linux under VM). NCR can do this, and they must have dome some of this already, considering their use of Solaris and then HP-UX, I don't know that they (nor the vendors) wanted to include a large amount of NCR code into the monolithic part of the kernel. So, there must be some model of the work within NCR, and I can't imagine that they are unable to reproduce it on whichever platform they wish.
I guess I am pointing to the modular part of the kernel, since it is still a bit of a gray area in regards to the GPL (there is not exactly a requirement of linux by the module, therefore placing it outside the GPL, for now). Since the kernel list won't support a module unless it is open source, and NCR would be fine (and possibly getting off cheaper) by managing it's own modules as opposed to an entire OS, I don't think they would be too averse to going that route (they would have to support their parts of the OS that run on HP and Sun anyway). I think they are also nervous about Bynet and other pieces they hold, these should be protected, and I think the module is a good way of that for now. Other companies (one electronic microscope maker I can think of) have gone this route and been happy with the results.
Sorry for the ramble, thanks for reading, I'll step off the Dreft box now.....
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